Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Southwestern Water Vole

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

I was in the Kingfisher hide this morning but they just didn’t come to the perch, everywhere else but the perch. However, in the distance I saw some movement. Looking through the viewfinder I spotted either a Brown Rat or a Southern Water Vole. I magnified on the live view and could see it was indeed a Southwestern Water Vole.

Also known as a Southern Water Vole, it is a slightly different species to the European Water Vole found in other regions of Europe. This large semi-aquatic rodent can reach sizes of between 16 and 23cm long, not including the tail which is a further 3/4 of the length of the body. They are often seen in the daytime, mainly during the later morning and early evening. This is the 2nd time I have seen it at this time of day so will be looking to get closer!

Allegedly, it was originally one of the main ingredients of the Spanish Paella! It’s great to see one as they are in decline and are classified as “Vulnerable” on the ICN Red List.

I quickly popped on the 1.4x teleconverter, but even at 700mm, it was still a long way away for a decent shot. However, here it is eating fresh bamboo growth for its breakfast. More info and identification guide after the photo.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Southwestern Water Vole - Rato-de-água - Arvicola sapidus
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 with Nikon TC14E III 1.4x Teleconverter (giving 700mm) @ 1/800sec, f/5.6, ISO1400

Due to the size of a Water Vole, it is easy to assume that its a Brown Rat, however, there are many differences. To help, here is a quick guide to the differences!


My Latest Common Kingfisher Photos Are Now Available In Print

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

As you probably know, due to the amount of young Kingfishers locally, I am really concentrating on photographing them. The following 3 photos are now available to purchase as prints in the Web Shop.

I have more photos to process and I am planning on many more sessions with these stunning birds, therefore more images will be available soon.

Click image to view the product in the shop

Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Female) - Guarda-rios (juvenil femea) - Alcedo atthis
Continue reading >>

Happy 50th Anniversary Of The First Moon Landing!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Yes, I know this post is actually now the day after, but I did take the shot just before 11:57pm so it counts!

I wasn’t born at the time, but I can only imagine the excitement of watching it live on TV 50 years ago. The moon fascinates me due to the fact that I can see it, but I know I’ll never get to go there.

It seemed only right that I took a shot on this important day.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Happy 50th Anniversary Of The First Moon Landing NASA!
Continue reading >>

A Morning With A Young Female……….

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

…….Common Kingfisher!

Finally, I wake at sunrise and the skies are clear! It’s been a strange summer so far with very cloudy mornings. I grab a coffee and head down to the river. As soon as I step inside the hide, it clouds over………. AGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

I wait it out and it improved slightly but not enough to have a fast enough shutter speed with a low enough ISO for flight shots, so I settled for some portraits of the beautiful juvenile female.

A female Common Kingfisher has a red lower beak which gradually turns red (the male stays black), this girl is half way there. Her feet are still a little dark, they also start black and turn red, as do the male.

You’ll notice that she doesn’t appear to “glow” in this picture. The blue/green feathers on a Common Kingfisher contain no pigment and are not actually green or blue. They are transparent and the colour you see is the light rays passing through the transparent feathers. Therefore, when the light isn’t too great, nor are the colours.

I have many more shots from this session which will come over the next couple of days, and of course, I’ll be back for some flight shots too. Incidentally, the clouds cleared too soon after! It’s amazing to have so many Kingfishers so close to the house and it was great to sit and watch this girl diving from various spots along the river bank. Sometimes, failed, sometimes successful. I even saw her catch a fish and then drop it back in the water when she tried to eat it.

This photo along with my other recent photos will be available to purchase in print soon.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Female) - Guarda-rios (juvenil femea) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/500sec, f/8, ISO900Continue reading >>

Another Shot From The “Dark Perch”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Just another shot of the juvenile male Common Kingfisher from a few days ago at my “Dark Perch“. This time he’s got his back facing me showing off his typical “go-faster stripe.”

I have a new location ready to go, clouds depending, I’ll be there in the morning, not sure how they’ll react to this one as I have to use my pop-up hide and not sure if they will be happy around it.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Male) - Guarda-rios (juvenil macho) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/640sec, f/11, ISO450Continue reading >>

Sunset Tonight In The Algarve Hills

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

The sun was lowering in the sky and I noticed it was setting with a nice ridge line framing it, so I grabbed the camera with 500mm lens and underexposed by one stop to create the silhouette effect. At first, I was disappointed when a small cloud rolled in to cover the sun and almost didn’t take the shot, but actually, I think it adds something mysterious to it.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Another Day Is Done
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/250sec, f/11, ISO64


Continue reading >>


Photography Workshops For All Abilities...!
Are you looking to move away from your camera's Auto setting and be more creative with your photography?
Why not attend one of my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop. Full day easy-to-understand Workshop with both theory and practical sessions for only €45!
If you don't currently own a suitable camera and want to learn the fundamentals first? There is a limited availablility of Nikon Bridge Cameras available at no extra cost!
Private sessions including 1-to-1 and 1-to-2 also available! Read more...

0